Chartlada Sangakij (JJ)
Creative Communications and Media Assistant
Once hailed as a success story for its Covid-19 control, Thailand is currently going through a huge surge in Covid-19 cases due to the delta variant. As of 6 August 2021, Thailand recorded 693,305 Coronavirus cases and 5,663 deaths.
APCOM office is based in Bangkok, and since July 2021 Bangkok has been on lockdown until further notice, and we asked our staff to do a reflection on their Covid-19 experience in 2021.
Hi, my name is JJ. It’s my second month working as a graphic girl with APCOM, focusing on the testBKK campaign. I am currently working from home during the 3rd Bangkok lockdown.
When Covid-19 first hit Thailand in the beginning of 2020, I was actually in Bhutan for a volunteering project. I was afraid to return to Thailand, and felt lucky to be away from the lockdown measures. But it wasn’t long when Bhutan, too, had to undergo a 21-day lockdown in August 2020, and I had my precious two hours available per day to go shopping in the area and the time zone, designated by the government. Sadly, Covid-19 meant I ended up staying in Bhutan for only 10 months, instead of the original 12 months.
I got back to Thailand in October, and things turned out to not be as easy as before, especially for my job hunting. I was unemployed for six months, and that made me use all my “in case of unemployment” budget. Then, luckily, I got a job at APCOM which brought peace, in so many ways, to me. During my unemployment time, I joined so many online and offline training sessions. One of those is a fashion project that continued after I got this job. So, after office hours, I had to get my craft and textile drawing done, which was tiring – but fun!
My 2021 won’t be this peaceful without one person, my boyfriend. We met at the beginning of the year and things went so comfortably in terms of relationship and lockdown life conditions. He’s a comic artist and a teacher, and also a good listener. When I talk with the plants on the balcony (including the earthworms in the pots) and house lizards in my composter buckets, he’ll ask what the animals and I discussed about.
Compared to my emotional lockdown in Bhutan, right now it’s more relaxing. Morning Zoom catch-up with the APCOM team, and being the meeting chairperson is fun. I love using my creativity to bring people together, and I feel free to tease and make jokes with the APCOM staff. In the testBKK team, we are pretty cool, so I’d say that so far, I can manage my work life and emotions well.